How Intermittent Fasting, Caloric Restriction and Choice Polyphenols Effect Health and Aging
Making dietary changes that promote desired body weight goals, and benefit your health, can be a challenge with all the information you receive in the media and social circles.
What foods to eat and how much can be confusing.
What are the total calories are being consumed each day, and from what foods should these calories come from, leaves you reading labels and constantly taking notes.
Counting calories can become a burnout and lead to failed diets. Following a strict diet can also lead to failure.
So what if you were to discover that restricting your caloric intake for relatively short periods in a manner similar to fasting, without the agonizing hunger pangs, can benefit your cellular and physical health. This does not require counting the calories from the food you eat. It is more about restricting when you eat food.
This does not require starving yourself. It requiresintermittent fasting(IF) periods in a given day1. It also allows you to eat good food that provide the nutrients necessary for energy, support of body functions, and promotes healthy aging.
The Choice You Have to Make is the Food You Choose to Eat
If you can be disciplined to avoid eating for a portion of a 24-hour day, and make choice decisions when you do eat, you will begin to impact how you look, feel, and yes, how you age.
Read further to learn more about:
How Intermittent Fasting (Caloric Restriction) impact Healthy Aging.
Beginning strategies of Intermittent Fasting
How to implement a fasting schedule so You do not feel starved.
Foods to include in your diet that are plant-based polyphenols, and actually mimic the health benefits of caloric restriction.
How Sirtuins found in food activate cellular metabolism to support DNA, Cellular metabolism and the process of aging.
Finally, You will discover a few natural supplements that have been identified as mimicking caloric restriction, and profound roles in cellular and physiological roles in the aging process of your body.
Intermittent Fasting: Clean Eating Method of Caloric Restriction
Simple enough that you’ll actually do it, but meaningful enough that it will actually make a difference. – James Clear
Intermittent Fasting Definition:
Intermittent Fasting(IF) is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. Studies have demonstrated the health benefits of IF on cellular, neurological, cardiovascular health.
There are many methods of IF, a form of caloric restriction, that can be implemented to successfully lose weight, improve energy and benefit the aging processes of the body.
Caloric Restriction (CR) repeatedly delayed disease onset, thereby prolonging healthspan. As diet composition also seems to influence health, it has been hypothesized that CR and certain dietary factors can prevent age-related diseases like atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes mellitus, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.
“the ability of a system to maintain or return to homeostasis in response to challenges”
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Improve the function of cells, genes and hormones
- Facilitate fat loss by reducing insulin levels in the blood.
- Increase Human Growth Hormone in blood leading to increased muscle mass and fat metabolism.
- Removes waste from cells
- Increase gene expression that protects against disease.
Decrease Belly Fat and increase weight loss(two ways)
- Increased metabolism(calories out)
- Decrease amount of food you eat(calories in)
Reduce Insulin Resistance that may otherwise lead to Type II Diabetes
- Lowers blood sugar levels.
- Blood sugar control found to be greater in men than women.
Benefits Aging and Development of Many Diseases
- Reduces oxidative stress.
- Reduces inflammation
Many Heart Healthy, Reduced Risk Factors
- Blood pressure
- Cholesterol levels
- Inflammatory markers
Improve Brain Function and Metabolic Features
- Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factors(BDNF)
- Growth of new brain cells(neurogenesis)
- Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress
Intermittent Fasting: A Plan, Not a Diet
Intermittent fasting does not change what you eat, it changes when you eat.
You may choose to implement a low carb, high fat diet method.
This would require selecting Low Glycemic Index foods, and selecting High Energy, high omega-3, healthy fats, and lean protein sources that includes grass-fed, and non-processed meats.
We will also discuss later how choice polyphenols included in your diet mimic caloric restriction.
Selecting foods in your dietary plan that are high in polyphenols and nutrient dense from organic vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes must be emphasized. This ensures a healthy dose of fibers that promote gut health and provide satiety that combats hunger.
During the phase following eating(Fed State) it is hard to burn fat as your insulin levels are high, you are digesting and absorbing your food. This lasts for 3-5 hours after you eat.
The post-Fed State lasts 8-12 hours after your last meal. This is where the Fasted State begins.
It is much easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.
The primary change with intermittent fasting then is not how much you eat, but rather, when you eat.
How to Implement an Intermittent Fasting Plan, Not Go Hungry, and Be Alert
- 2-3 days per week (Intermittent Fasting)- see table below.
- Do not eat past 8pm(evening meal) until 12 noon next day.(Fasting Period).
- On these days have ample water.
- Can Drink Green Tea or Coffee in the Morning
Using the below recipe described as Bulletproof Coffee is recommended as it will provide satiety, and promote alertness that may be induced by the period of fasting.
Bulletproof Coffee Recipe
With Coffee mix tablespoon of Coconut Oil or (Medium Chain Triglyceride) MCT Oil and tablespoon of butter (grass-fed Kerrygold found at most stores) in coffee.
You may choose to start with 1-2 days as depicted in the below example(Tues/Thurs).
In the example above you can see that the majority of time spent in the “fasting state” is during your sleeping hours.
- On these “fasting days” eat regular amounts of food. NO SUGAR!!!
- Avoid processed food. Organic and whole foods provide the nutrients you need.
- Choose Sirt-Foods rich in polyphenols(see below).
- Fat loss will happen at faster rate with this sustained fasting.
The other days
- Only food between meals are handful of almonds, walnuts, or frozen grapes/berries.
- Drink more water. You should be drinking your body weight in kilograms, in ounces of fluid.
Choice Polyphenols Support Health and Aging
Polyphenols are phytochemicals found in plants, fruits and vegetables, and provide protection from many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.
Caloric Restriction and Intermittent Fasting does not limit the foods you eat when you are in the feeding mode. The intention is to provide nutrient-rich food from a variety of sources that maximize energy, metabolism and brain support.
The Mediterranean Diet is an example of regional based foods from a variety of sources; rich in polyphenols.
Olives, Olive Oil, Grape skins, red wine, flax seed, sesame seed, cruciferous vegetables and whole grains are sources of polyphenols that can found in a Mediterranean-Based Diet.
Studies have identified the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet:
decreased incidence of cancer,
Polyphenol consumption and Caloric Restriction have similar impact on human metabolism. There are polyphenols that have CR-like signaling actions brought about by activating Sirtuins; regulators of important biological processes.
Sirtuins and Caloric Restriction
Sirtuins play a pivotal role in the response to Caloric Restriction.
Sirtuins are involved in several key aspects of cell physiology from the cell cycle to metabolism and antioxidant protection, highlighting the importance of sirtuins in the regulation of metabolism, insulin response, cell cycle, autophagy.
Autophagy is a normal physiological process in the body that deals with destruction of cells in the body. It maintains homeostasis or normal functioning by protein degradation and turnover of the destroyed cell organelles for new cell formation.
Sirtuins are shown to be involved in the regulation of lifespan and metabolism in different organisms.
Regulation of Sirtuins activities are, together with AMPK activity and PGC-1α-dependent pathways, at the centre of the response to CR. López-Lluch, G. and Navas, P. (2016), Calorie restriction as an intervention in ageing. J Physiol, 594: 2043–2060. doi:10.1113/JP270543
Sirtuin 1(Sirt1) is known to regulate metabolism, stress resistance, cellular survival, cellular senescence/aging, inflammation-immune function, endothelial functions, and circadian rhythms.
Sirt1 is the best studied sirtuin to date and is sometimes referred to as a guardian against cellular oxidative stress and DNA damage.
Sirt-Foods to Include in Your Daily Dietary Intake
Quercetin: Onions, Apples and Capers
Hydroxytyrosol: Olive Oil and Leaf
Trans-e-Viniferin: Grapes, Grape Clusters and Grape Stems
Kaempfero: Cabbage, Kale and Parsley
Other foods are black currents, turmeric, dark chocolate and omega-3’s found in fish oil, salmon and other fish.
Hydroxytyrosol, Resveratrol and Trans-e-Viniferin are polyphenols that are labeled as Sirt-Foods, and contribute to the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.
The decisions you make effect the lifestyle you choose to lead
The Choice to make dietary changes that impact your body’s cellular function, cardiovascular, metabolic and DNA support can have immediate and long-term action on the aging processes of the body.
Limiting when you eat, what you eat, and how you choose to supplement your daily value of food are disciplines that can reap great reward.
The practices of caloric restriction using the practices of intermittent fasting, including rich, nutrient-dense polyphenols, healthy fats and lean proteins, play an active role.
Intermittent Fasting is not easy to begin on a daily basis. Start with one day a week for a couple of weeks and slowly build it into your routine.
To make any change in your diet, whether for the benefits of weight loss, or for the health benefits, make small changes and gradually build on these for long-term success.
Before you embark on this plan establish a baseline of measurements so that you will know what changes are made.
Below are a few suggestions.
- waist circumference
- body weight
- how you feel
- blood labs
- exercise habits
Make getting healthy a learning experience. Expand your culinary options by learning to eat good food that is good for you, and supports healthy aging.
You may also choose Polyphenols in Supplement Form that activate Sirt1.